a colourless, flammable, extremely toxic gas, with a disagreeable, garlic-like odour. Phosphine is formed by the action of a strong base or hot water on white phosphorus or by the reaction of water with calcium phosphide (Ca3P2). Phosphine is structurally similar to ammonia (NH3), but phosphine is a much poorer solvent than ammonia and is much less soluble in water.
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